By Maria Yagoda
August 31, 2016 02:00 PM
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In 2016, wearing headphones in a public space is a clear symbol of, “Hey, please don’t talk to me.”

For women, who continue to deal with street harassment, cat-calling and unwanted advances in both public and professional spaces, wearing headphones can be a sacred act. It provides us with a tiny, flimsy shred of privacy as we power through our commutes or rush to dinner. (Admittedly, headphones can’t block everything out. On my walk to work yesterday, a man yelled “I’d like to dip your legs in butter” at me while I was blasting Avril Lavigne.)

In a Modern Man blog post entitled “How to Talk to Women,” Dan Beacon chronicles how to approach a woman who is minding her own business and listening to headphones. “Not all women are open to being approached because not all women are single and looking,” he wrote. “However if a woman wearing headphones is single and hoping to meet a boyfriend (or even a new lover), she will usually be happy to take her headphones off to give you an opportunity to create a spark with her.” (We’re going to briefly ignore the assumption that men would only want to talk to woman to gain sex.)

His tips include standing in front of the woman, putting on a smile and waving your hand in front of her, then gesturing until she takes her headphones off. If the man is successful in disrupting the woman, Deacon offered this handy tip: Flirt! “If a guy doesn’t include any flirting after getting a woman to take off her headphones to talk to him, she will most likely begin to wonder why he is talking to her if he isn’t interested in her that way,” he wrote.

Over the past few days, the blog post has gained traction on the Internet as readers – women, in particular – point out the absurdity of its premise.

In conclusion, the best way to talk to a woman wearing headphones is not to do it. And if for some reason these tweets haven’t convinced you and you just have to, don’t bring up butter.

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